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A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

In an increasingly electronic world I often wonder why the UK has such a massive card market, worth a whopping £1.7Bn! Is it that our repressed nature makes it easier to send a card rather than verbalise the message?

If a picture paints a thousand words then the card market is an important outlet for any artist. In the past I have made my own art cards and whilst it was fun it was also intensely time consuming, so this week I have been spending time with the printer and developing a series of cards which will be launched at my forthcoming Snape Exhibition. I can't wait to see the printed cards - here is a draft ... and see below for some interesting factoids on the UK card market.

Interesting Facts About the Greeting Card Industry

  • The greeting card industry is directly and indirectly responsible for the jobs of 100,000 people in the UK including: publishers; artists, photographers and image suppliers; verse and prose writers; printers; paper and board companies; envelope and cello wrap suppliers; specialist finishers; warehousing and distribution companies; trade fair organisers and retailers.

  • No other country has such a tradition of card sending or card display in the home - the sending and receiving of cards is an important part of our culture.

  • We buy more cards per person than any other nation - 33 each a year.

  • But the industry's rule of thumb is that 85% of all cards are bought by women.

  • The UK card industry is acknowledged to be ten years ahead of the rest of the world in terms of design.

  • Greeting cards are stocked in more types of outlet than any other product – with one in six retailers stocking greeting cards.

  • There are over a thousand publishers in the UK, most of which are small businesses with fewer than five employees. Out of the 450 plus members of the GCA over 350 are small/micro businesses.

  • Charities estimate that £50m is raised for good causes through the sales of charity Christmas cards each year.

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